I was always envious of my friend CarlDonDiegoDelDitto about his ability to make sausage gravy. I never really saw him cook to much else other than steaks and microwaved bacon, but his gravy rocked. However everytime i mimicked it, i got a glob of wallpaper paste. So i gave up and didn’t make gravy for almost 20 years, but now i have been reborn as the new Sausage Gravy Messiah, complete with a greasy halo and 6 disciples…why only 6? because the Man wouldn’t let me have a full baker’s dozen!!! and as my loyal subjects i will share this recipe with you, which is really more of a technique , but we shall call it recipe worthy.
we’re going to start with two pounds of mild sausage. I prefer Wampler’s All Natural, a locally produced nitrate and preservative free, but any sausage will work.
anywho….so you can use one of two things to cook this sausage in. I prefer an electric skillet, because i can set the temperature exactly at 300 degrees and it doesn’t weigh 50 pounds like the more traditional iron skillet. the iron skillet will definitely give you more street cred, but that is up to you.
cook your sausage , crumbling it up with a wooden spoon as you go. when all the pink has been cooked out, its time to add your flour. DO NOT remove the sausage from the skillet. Just don’t, i don’t care what Paula Dean says. Sprinkle a cup of all purpose flour over your sausage crumbles and start stirring that sucker, maybe lowering the heat if it starts to stick or burn. Keep it moving until all the flour is “gone” and then continue to cook and stir constantly for another 5 minutes. This will cook the flour avoiding any raw flour taste, which makes total sense since it will no longer be raw flour. What a useless sentence that was. Anyway, after you have cooked your floured sausage crumbles, you are going to add around 3 cups of milk, preferably whole milk but others will work. Don’t bother with skim though as you are adding it to two pounds of sausage. Also don’t order diet coke with your fried chicken and cheeseburgers, it is just freaking annoying and pointless. OK, so keep stirring that mixture you have and it will thicken right up in a minute or two…don’t walk away from it…if it gets too thick add some more milk…and of course you will need some fresh cracked black pepper, as much or as little as you like, but it is crucial, in my opinion…now serve it on top of biscuits and eat it! eat it now!!!!
Its an early morning here. Bright sunlight pierces both the haze of dawn and my eyelids. Somehow the birds have acquired electric amplification for the Morning Chorus and are Townsend esque in their volume and earnestness. My mind pictures a blue jay doing the windmill but the thought is immediately chased away by the onslaught of the coming day. Don’t mistake this lament as being unique, but rather another colored block in the pattern which repeats itself ad naseum like never ending 3rd grade math homework. The gravity of the situation is evident, obvious even to the casual observer. The desire to stay in bed and let the world go away has rarely been stronger. Not since the lethargic grieving of loved ones have i felt so laconic. My desire to rise to the challenge of the new day and the new way is the size of a match head, without the possibility of ignition or life giving warmth. Days like this require mindless navigation of roads leading nowhere, head full of nonsensical theories and malignant inquiries, while waves of sound horse tackle memories and subdue enlightenment. Brief rushes of adrenaline spurred by previously unknown hairpins curves are punctuated by tortoise treks down idyllic lanes. In a perfect world, all i would do is drive. I would be hardwired to the machine, never sleeping or slowing down. Never meeting the people who wave from their porches and the saddles of their lawn tractors. Pausing only to read the maps and atlases spewing forth from an overcrowded glovebox. Letting rants and rambles guide my way and occupy my thoughts so i don’t have to do it myself. Just follow the river’s path back to town. Look for the lights when the sun goes down. Keep your eyes on the road and your head in the clouds and your bleeding heart will jump ship eventually, seeking greener pastures without all the cow shit.
i hate to admit it, but i love my smartphone…having a nice camera and mp3 player and google searcher and gps and video game system and all around useful thing….sooo anywho, here are some pics from the aforementioned smartphone…dig em with a shovel y’all!
This is a little concoction to keep the vegetarians happy at the CoffeeShop, chock full of fresh eggplant, squash, onions and garlic, with some egg and bread crumbs to help hold it all together. I used a burger press to squeeze as much moisture from the patties after i shaped them and also to compress into shape. After they were all formed, they were baked for a while, then grilled to order and topped with feta, spinach, roasted peppers, etc. etc. They are a nice alternative to a bean and rice based burger. I would keep it on a crusty bread and keep the toppings crisp to provide a good textural balance. The best compliment i can give these burgers, is that even I will eat them, and i deeeeeeeeeespiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise eggplants.
Howdy one and all…after a long hiatus from the blogosphere, i’m hopping back on the digital pony to spread the words inside my brain to others, hopefully winning friends and influencing enemies along the way. The last few months have been, to say the least, a whirlwind of activity. The Coffeeshop at Southland Books is in its third month of Steveishungry Total Control and Repsonsiblity and all is going well. Kind of. Somedays are much better than others, and I am learning a new respect for weather patterns and their effect on my business. Apparently 90 degree weather and hot coffee don’t mix, but now that the seasons have advanced, sales are picking up. My business and building partner suffered a setback due to theft, but it has resulted in an outpouring of support from our friends and the local community. I’m starting production on an online cooking show with Smoky Mountain Morning tv smomotv.info which is exciting and even more exposure. I am daily walking the fine line between struggling new business and failing business, and, i won’t lie, its scary as hell! when you open the till and find 17 dollars in sales it can be rather depressing. When twenty bucks disappears from the tip jar it seems like grand larceny, and throwing away food that wasn’t properly stored or is no longer fresh is painful to the core. I wince when ice hits the floor even, cause that’s money melting on linoleum. I’m going to follow this post up with a photo bomb of whats been happening at the CoffeeShop and recipes and links to the TV program, live music and randomness